I’ve been loving seeing this tag around lately, and I was finally tagged to do it! So thank you Callum! I love the idea of reading diverse books, and it’s something I’ve been making an effort to do over the past year or so. Most of these books are ones I’ve read, but I also included some from my TBR. You can find the original version of this tag here, if you’re interested.
- The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. I will task you to find a book that fits a specific criteria and you will have to show us a book you have read or want to read.
- If you can’t think of a book that fits the specific category, then I encourage you to go look for one. A quick Google search will provide you with many books that will fit the bill. (Also, Goodreads lists are your friends.) Find one you are genuinely interested in reading and move on to the next category.
- Everyone can do this tag, even people who don’t own or haven’t read any books that fit the descriptions below.
Find a book starring a lesbian character
One of my favorite books (in this category and in general) is Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. When I read it earlier this year, I was both surprised and pleased by how sexuality is treated in this book. It was really eye-opening and lovely. (The lesbian element was left out in the film, so you gotta read the book for this one, but it’s so worth it!)
Find a book with a Muslim protagonist
I totally agree with Callum’s choice of Malala Yousafzai – her book is incredible – but for the sake of having some diversity (ha!) I’m going with Marjane Satrapi, who wrote and is the protagonist in her graphic memoir, Persepolis. Her religion does play a big part in her story, which I found incredibly interesting. (I also just realized I haven’t read much fiction with Muslim characters. Must fix!)
Find a book set in Latin America
I have a decent collection of books set in Latin America on my shelves, but I have yet to read any of them, which is sad. So I’m going with The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende. I read one of her short stories – “An Act of Vengeance” – for my fiction writing class, and really enjoyed it, so I’m excited about reading more of her work and this book’s gotten incredible reviews.
Find a book about a person with a disability
Again, Callum had a brilliant choice: All the Light We Cannot See, whose protagonist, Marie-Laure, is blind. I’m going with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, a former editor of French Vogue who suffered from locked-in syndrome after having a stroke. Despite the fact that he couldn’t move, he used his highly-functional brain to overcome his disability and write a book by blinking each letter. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a true testament to the human spirit, and really shows how anyone can overcome any disability if they set their mind to it.
Find a Science-Fiction or Fantasy book with a POC protagonist
For this one, I’ve decided to stick with Callum’s answer – Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – because 1. it’s brilliant, and 2. it’s one of the only examples I can think of. There are a lot of POC characters in this book, and race relations play a big role in the story – I love that it’s about an alien war, but still completely relevant. If you haven’t read these comics, you’re missing out!
Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa
Here’s a book that begins in Spain, ends and is primarily set in Egypt (Africa), and was written by a beloved Latin American author: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I read this in high school, and have since recommended it and given it as a gift several times and everyone loves it. I think it’s time for a reread, because it’s a truly great book!
Find a book written by an Indigenous or Native author
Unfortunately, this was one I had to look up, because I discovered that I haven’t really read anything written by indigenous or native authors, and I didn’t have anything on my TBR. But that’s okay, because I discovered a book I’d really like to read: The Outside Circle by Patti Laboucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings. Laboucane-Benson is a Métis (a person of mixed Native American and European-American heritage) who has a PhD in Aboriginal Family Resilience. The Outside Circle is a graphic novel about two Aboriginal teenagers who have to find themselves and overcome the trauma of their history.
Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.)
For this one, I’m going with a bit of a lesser-known book that I bought on a whim, but am pretty excited about reading: The Wildlings by Nilanjana S. Roy. It takes place in the ruins of an old neighborhood in Dehli, and is about the colony (clouder) of cats who’ve taken over that area. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read, which is part of the reason I picked it up.
Find a book with a biracial protagonist
This is probably a popular answer, but the only book I can think of at the moment is Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. The protagonist, Maddy, is Japanese and African American, which was so unusual (sadly) and amazing. (I knew a couple of sisters in high school who were Japanese and African American and they were so beautiful, so I loved seeing this in a book and it made me love Maddy that much more.)
Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues
For this one, I’m going with the book that really introduced me to what it means to be transgender: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. A brilliant book, for anyone interested, and I like that it’s a more adult example, since there is a lot of transgender YA literature out there now (which I’m totally for, I just like to balance it out). Also highly recommend The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff. (I’m also planning on reading The Art of Being Normal soon.)
I’m not sure who’s done this tag already, so I’m not going to tag anyone specific, but if you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! What is your favorite diverse book?